It's amazing how happy Mizzou Basketball links are making me right now. I still accept that this team probably isn't going to be very good this year (you don't have to remind me, Myron Medcalf), but the fact that all the freshmen stayed, and the unity the team is showing right now, is impossible to dislike.
In fact ... just for grins...
It's preview season
PowerMizzou: Study Guide: South Carolina
Reason for Missouri to worry: While South Carolina took a step back in 2014, the Gamecocks still won 42 games between 2010 and 2013, and they upset Missouri at Faurot Field in 2013. While there's plenty of turnover among the big names on offense, Spurrier usually manages to get things turned around pretty quickly. If he can find a competent quarterback to get the ball to Cooper, and if Wilds holds up, health-wise, the pieces are there for an explosive offense in 2015.
Reason for Missouri to rest easy: South Carolina's offensive line lost two starters, including first-round selection A.J. McCann. While Cooper returns, the Gamecocks are without their second-through-fifth leading receivers from a year ago. So, while Cooper is certainly a dynamic player, will there be enough of a proven supporting cast to take the burden off him?
No-Fly Zone: You don't want to throw to Hargreaves' side, man. Don't even think about it. In two years at Florida, the All-American has logged six interceptions and 24 pass break-ups. That's 30 passes over two seasons in which Hargreaves has gotten at least one hand on the ball. That doesn't even factor into the equation all the passes he's affected with jams on the line and world-class speed covering downfield. So go ahead and pick on the other guy, OK? What's that? He's a really good cover corner, too? Oh. Well then. Poole split time between corner and nickel last year, led the team in interceptions and ranked fifth in the SEC with 1.17 passes defended per game. He had three pass break-ups against LSU, two break-ups and an interception against Kentucky and two picks against Florida State. The Gators had one of the best pass defenses in the nation as a whole, coming back from shaky early season performances against Kentucky and Alabama to record five out of six games with an opponent passer rating under 100 (the lowest came from, of course, Missouri: 31.55). The Gators got their hands on 78 passes last season, or one every 5.5 attempts. And those 16 interceptions went a long way to Florida actually ending the season with a comfortable plus margin in turnovers after going minus-5 against Missouri. Minus. 5. The Gators return Hargreaves, Poole, starting safety Keanu Neal and nickelback Marcus Maye. They should be stout on the back end once again.
Good week for Tanner Houck